In California it is absolutely legal to pay 250 dollars an hour for crystal therapy or to summon the ghosts of your murder victims from the beyond. It is not however legal to tell a depressed teenage boy who has been sexually abused by a man that he needs to return to a normal pattern of life in order to leave the pain behind him.
This is all the more ironic considering Jerry Brown's links to the Jim Jones cult. Brown seemed to have no issues with their "therapy" and noted gay icon Harvey Milk was a firm supporter of the Communist death cult.
Let's set aside the whole gay rights debate for a moment. Governor Brown has just signed a bill into law which, randomly, determines that therapists cannot help patients in any way that involves challenging a recent construct of human sexuality.
(b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
That means, despite the caveats in the bill, therapists cannot view any "gender expression" or "behavior" in a negative way because the State of California has passed a law determining what attitudes everyone should feel about well... anything.
Codes of professional ethics and legitimate and illegitimate therapies are determined by professional associations, not by state legislatures. For now this leaves out clerics, but such a bill is likely grinding away somewhere in the inner workings that will dictate to priests and rabbis that they are similarly not allowed to provide honest counseling in keeping with their religious beliefs.
Whatever one thinks homosexuality, this bill is yet another draconian effort by the gay rights lobby to override parents and dictate something that they should have no ability to dictate. Assuming that conversion therapy does not work, why not put the statistical information out there and let parents decide for themselves as informed consumers, rather than cracking down on something that clashes with recent liberal ideology?
When you have the evidence, then you don't need a ban. When you don't have the evidence, then you do need a ban to keep anyone from talking about it.